Finding high-quality respirator masks isn't always easy. The best gear is typically military surplus, which means the home consumer is often limited to Army/Navy stores, online auction sites, and other second-hand sources.
MIRA Safety is a proven name in tactical gear and personal protection equipment. One of their most popular products is their TAPR half-mask. Does it live up to the quality standards consumers expect from the company? Is it a viable alternative to military surplus?
Your complete, impartial review of the MIRA Safety TAPR mask starts right now.
MIRA Safety's Tactical Air Purifying Respirator Mask is a breath of fresh air for retail consumers. The tactical products company saw a deficiency in the gas mask and respirators available to the public and responded with the TAPR.
Two key elements make TAPR stand out in the respirator mask space:
- The high-quality – It's made for special operations and security personnel needs.
- The flexibility - It has a high degree of customization and works with many different filter types.
Another major factor to consider is that MIRA is an established company that manufactures the masks and sells them directly to consumers.
You can have a much higher level of confidence in the overall quality compared to a product you're buying from a third-party, such as an eBay seller.
Benefits of the MIRA Safety TAPR
What are the main benefits of buying this MIRA respirator?
As with any other air purifier respirator mask, the main reason to buy a TAPR mask is environmental protection. Specifically, the mask protects from airborne hazards, including particulates, viruses, bacteria, and radioactive isotopes.
While protection against environmental hazards is standard, the TAPR offers an important side benefit. Switching filters is simple, which means a single mask can protect you from multiple threats.
The mask is easy to carry around with you in a purse, backpack, or another personal carrying case. It also stores easily in a glove compartment, closet, or other small space.
Plus, you can use it at a moment's notice because it slips on easily and is ready to go instantly. Even folks without tactical training should have no issues equipping the mask quickly.
Everybody benefits from respiratory masks. You could even argue seniors, kids, and those with existing health issues receive more benefits from these masks than healthier adults. Unfortunately, many people in those groups feel uncertain about where to buy respirators.
Although designed for tactical situations, MIRA Safety never forgot about the home consumer, especially those unfamiliar with these types of masks. The TAPR is comfortable to wear, even after long hours of use. It's also easy to clean and maintain.
Who Is It For?
The potential customer base for this mask is surprisingly varied.
The mask was originally developed for the Czech Special Forces. After its debut, it gained popularity with security forces, law enforcement agencies, and militaries worldwide. This tactical half face respirator is also widely used in situations involving riot control.
The mask is designed for maximum shooter friendliness. Plus, you can add a FidLock buckle, making the mask compatible with the ARC rail and M-LOK helmet systems.
Preparing for a major weather event, supply shortage, or other widespread disaster is more popular than ever. A respiratory mask for every household member is an essential part of any home disaster preparedness kit and bug-out bag.
One of the most important aspects of any item in a survival kit is how long it can sit in storage without losing effectiveness. The TAPR has three specifications:
- Mask body – 20 years
- Head harness – 10 years
- Valves – 5 years
Replacement valves and harnesses are available to help you extend the total life of the mask.
The TAPR mask is an effective alternative to the P100 respirator mask. These masks are commonly used in medical, scientific, and industrial settings because they filter 99.97% of all airborne particles.
Instead of replacing the entire P100 mask, when you use a TAPR, you only need to replace the filter. If you wear a mask frequently, choosing the TAPR over the P100 can help save money.
Note that a TAPR half-mask isn't a safe alternative to a P100 full-face mask in situations where the particulate could damage your eyes or skin.
Respiratory half-masks like the TAPR are becoming increasingly popular at the gun range. Many ranges, especially indoor ones, don't provide sufficient ventilation, resulting in the buildup of lead and hazardous gasses.
Aside from protecting your health, the range is also a good place to practice shooting while wearing your mask.
Let's take a closer look at the core elements of the MIRA Safety Tactical Air-Purifying Respirator Mask.
It's a common joke among tactical professionals that "mil-spec" simply means "lowest bidder," but that's not the case here. The quality of the construction is high. While designed for tactical purposes, it's also no different from a high-end consumer product in many ways.
The mask is primarily made from silicone rubber, which has several benefits:
- It's easy to clean and disinfect.
- It conforms comfortably to any face shape, making it a true "one size fits all" device.
- It's lightweight with no hard parts that press into your face.
Aside from the silicone rubber components, the other primary material used in the mask's construction is a mesh harness. It's comfortable, flexible, and has a bright red pull tab so you can easily place the mask on your face correctly.
The TAPR's filtration system is designed for the broadest level of protection possible in a half-mask.
The standard mount fits 40 mm NATO filters (EN 148-1, NATO STANAG 4155). For the vast majority of home users, that's the only mount you'll ever need, as you can find NATO filters designed to protect against a huge range of hazards.
The standard TAPR kit includes two filters:
- ParticleMax P3 Compact Filter – It protects against viruses and bacteria
- P-CAN Compact Filter – It's designed for riot gas protection
They also have two popular filter types, which are each sold separately:
- NBC-17 SOF – Provides biological, chemical, and nuclear protection.
- VK-450 Carbon Monoxide Filter – Protects against carbon monoxide created during a fire.
There's an important caveat about the VK-450. It's best when used in emergencies only. For maximum fire protection, you'll want to wear a carbon monoxide filter with a full face mask.
Remember: You don't need MIRA Safety brand filters for this mask. Any standard 40 mm NATO filter will fit fine. While MIRA Safety's filters are well-made, you're not tied to the brand.
The TAPR has a few different ways you can configure the filter port, exhalation valve, and other components. The mask's adjustability speaks directly to its broad potential audience.
Most home users won't need to adjust anything as the standard setup will work best. Out of the box, the fix is configured in the following way:
- The filter port is in the middle of the mask
- The two large exhaust values are on each side of the filter, pointing downward
Tactical users, especially shooters, will likely prefer to customize the mask. The filter port can be moved to either side. You can also replace the standard-sized exhaust values with low-profile ones.
Several alternate harness types are available if you want to wear the mask with a tactical helmet. You'll find all the standard options, including ARC Rail, M-LOK Fidlock connectors, M-LOK adapters with ARC Rail Connectors, and MAS Gallet adaptors.
Another feature that will appeal to tactical professionals is the ability to add a communication headset.
By removing a side exhale port, you create a space to attach a microphone. The ports fit most standard microphone sizes, including the major options from Peltor and Ops-Core. You'll also need a PTT adaptor, which is a device that connects your headset to your radio.
Most home users will have no particular need to add a communication device. Still, it's a small feature that does show MIRA Safety's commitment to their tactical customers.
What's in the Box?
When you purchase the TAPR, here's everything you get:
- Center Port TAPR Body – This silicone rubber component is the centerpiece of the mask. It's where you attach the filter port and exhalation valves.
- Mesh Harness – The harness slides over your head to secure the mask to your face. It has a red tab you pull to ensure proper placement.
- ParticleMax P3 Compact Filter – Protection against viruses and bacteria
- P-Can Compact Filter – Protection against riot gas
- Nylon Pouch – This zippered pouch holds the mesh harness.
- Low-Profile Exhalation Cap – An optional replacement for the standard exhalation cap
- Carry Case – The padded case has separate compartments for the filters, mask, and nylon pouch.
The carry case is durable but fairly small. You should have no problem carrying it in a backpack or glove compartment.
Here's a closer look at the respirator mask's technical specs:
- Weight: 120 grams
- Filter Connection: EN 148-1, NATO STANAG 4155, 40x1/7"
- Color: Black
- Inhalation Resistance: 30 l/min flow rate max 15 Pa, 160 l/min flow rate max 135 Pa
While the TAPR mask has a lot to like, there are also some potential issues that consumers should consider before purchasing.
First, the biggest potential problem isn't with the TAPR specifically, but rather it's an issue with half face air purifying respirators in general. They won't protect against all types of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) agents. If the agent can cause harm via skin or eye exposure, you'll need a full-face mask.
Additionally, the TAPR isn't strong enough to withstand certain types and quantities of specific CBRN agents. The filters included with the mask require an environment with an oxygen content of at least 19.5%.
MIRA Safety also issues a strong warning about certain situations where the TAPR air-purifier respirator can't be used. It's unsuitable for extended exposure to industrial toxins, blister agents, or environments saturated with unknown chemical agents.
Frequently Asked Questions about the TAPR Half-Face Respirator
Here are quick answers to common questions about the MIRA Safety TAPR.
While it can help you escape in an emergency, it's not designed for prolonged use in a fire. Smoke and other chemicals created in a fire can pass through the standard filter. Also, the mask doesn't protect your eyes.
The ability to block contaminants depends on the type of filter you put in the mask. Any type of 40 mm NATO filter will fit securely. The mask includes filters for viruses/bacteria, riot gas, and carbon monoxide up to a certain level.
The MB-90 is a powered air respirator that you can attach to your TAPR mask. It improves the mask's airflow and positive pressure.
Is the MIRA Safety TAPR Mask Worth Buying?
While the mask has some limitations, it also has many aspects that will appeal to both tactical and civilian users.
First, the overall quality is exceptionally high. The silicone rubber construction is both durable while remaining lightweight and flexible. You can wear it comfortably for hours because it has no hard, heavy components that will dig into your skin.
It's also reliable. When you buy a respirator mask from a military surplus store or online, you have limited recourse if the mask doesn't work. However, MIRA Safety offers a one-year warranty on all factory defects and a five-year warranty on many individual products.
Another benefit is how easy the mask is to use. Whether you're in the middle of a firefight, or want virus protection when you go to the grocery store, the mask slips on quickly and stays secure even during periods of heavy activity.
The MIRA Safety TAPR mask combines the rugged standards needed for the tactical user with the user-friendliness required for the home user. It's a wise purchase for anyone who needs to stay protected against chemical, biological, and other harmful airborne agents.
Sunny is the father of eight-year-old twins who is crazy about strategy and geopolitics, and that love can only be disturbed by his obsession with flying and diving to the depths. He also loves to travel and try the specialties of the places he travels. He loves to write about travel, gadgets, survival gear, and security.